Rhetorical Analysis Of Lyndon Johnson's Speech

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Lyndon Johnson´s speech was presented in 1965 at Johns Hopkins University. He was the successor of President, J.F. Kennedy. During this time, the Cold War was taking place in the world. It consisted of a state of tension between the Soviet Union and the United States that took place from 1945 until 1991. Even though they never fought directly against each other, it affected the rest of the countries. Conflicts occurred due to the different ideologies they had, which were capitalism and communism. At the moment the speech was addressed, Vietnam was politically divided in two. The northern part of the country that was supported by the Soviet Union while the southern one was supported by the United States. Johnson´s speech tried to increase the…show more content…
Hypophora was used, when Johnson said “Why are we in South Vietnam? We are there because we have a promise to keep” , with the purpose of transmitting the message clearly to the audience. But people didn’t care about a promise they didn’t make. Obviously, they didn’t find a reason to fight. Hence, parallelism was used so citizens could be influenced easily by the aims of Johnson’s government as the ideas are more organized. This applies to a part of the speech when he said “We will not be defeated. We will not grow tired. We will not withdraw” . Also, when Johnson quotes the Bible, claiming “We must say in Southeast Asia, as we did in Europe, in the words of the Bible: “Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further.””, he is using an allusion. It refers to the aggression the Americans wanted to avoid in the world. People didn’t want to fight, so the government mentioned the Catholic Church to generate a bond between the citizens and the speaker. The government felt they had to use such powerful rhetorical devices because they knew, they needed the citizen’s support. If someone from Johnson´s government would have had read it, he would´ve been proud for such convincing

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